Luxury Chains Have U.S. Men In Their Sights

Luxury retailers are stepping up their efforts to market to U.S. men and shifting their focus away from China, Reuters reported on Friday (May 24).

The shift is due in part to the emergence of what some marketers call HENRYs—an acronym for "high earning, not rich yet" Americans making between $100,000 and $249,000 a year. Luxury marketing consultant Pam Danziger estimates about 24.2 million households are HENRYs, which includes relatively young men willing to spend $600 on a pair of Dior sneakers, for example.

Luxury spending in the U.S. collapsed after the 2008 financial crisis but has since recovered. Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) said last week that it expects U.S. sales growth of 4 to 7 percent. Saks (NYSE:SKS) reported quarterly sales up 5.9 percent. And luxury brands including Prada, Hermes, Burberry and Hugo Boss are opening or expanding stores in the U.S. and increasing ad spending.

French luxury chain Hermes, for example, now makes 15 percent of its sales in the U.S., up from 10 percent in 2008, and the chain said U.S. men's purchases are on the rise.

And HENRY men aren't the only reason for increased U.S. luxury retail sales. The U.S. State Department has eased visa restrictions to attract tourists, putting more foreign shoppers in U.S. stores. Less than 20 percent of luxury sales in the U.S. are to foreign tourists, compared with about 50 percent in Europe.

The State Department has cut the wait for a visa-related interview in Brazil, where most U.S. luxury shopping tourists come from, to two days. It also plans to waive interview requirements for some visa applicants, and is expanding or building new consulates in China and Brazil.

For more:

- See this Reuters story

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